This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

City Council 4-24-2017

The City Council meeting on Monday was long, lasting a bit more than an hour. First on the agenda was a credit card ordinance that will make it easier for City employees to use City cards for purchases. At present they must make the purchases on their own credit cards or with their own funds and seek reimbursement. There were several concerns about the wording. Job titles in the ordinance did not always match salary job descriptions, but this was deemed not a problem. There was quite a bit of discussion of who should approve the credit card claims, and as a result the Board of Public Works was replaced with the City Council as the body that approved the charges. It was also decided that the Council needed to amend an old ordinance from 2001 that specified payments that could be made without prior approval.

The Council passed an economic development rider that allows the City to participate in an incentive program that IMPA has to encourage expansion of large electric users. In an unrelated item, a representative from IMPA was present and she showed a short video explaining IMPA and the services it provides. IMPA was established by the State legislature in 1980 and began operating in 1983. Rensselaer was one of the founding members and it now serves 60 Indiana communities and one Ohio city. It has yearly revenue of about $460 million and purchases on the open market about 14% of the power it sells to communities. (It produces the remainder.) It provides a number of services to city electric utilities and it has monthly board meetings on the last Friday of the month. Mayor Wood is on that board.

The Council approved a request to hire a part time person, primarily in the summer, to operate light equipment such as dump trucks and a backhoe. In Administrative Comments, George Cover asked what use the City could have for the old State highway property. He was told it could be used for storage and that the status of the property may be on the agenda for the May 8 meeting.  There will be a City BZA meeting on May 9 at 7:00 to discuss a use variance for the old Monnett School property that is for sale. The City has an offer for the property (probably contingent on getting the variance). A possible use is as a day care center.

Arbor Day is Friday and there will be a tree planting at the Primary School at 4:00. The planning for Earth Day for next Saturday is somewhat confused, but apparently something will happen at Brookside Park. On the matter of a small parking lot for Weston Cemetery, Soil and Water Conservation would like the lot to be done with porous cement and may be able to fund much of the construction. More information will be collected. The electronics recycling day on Saturday collected seven and a half tons of stuff.

Paving of Drexel Drive has begun. Below is the start of paving on Monday morning. The road was limited to one lane and there were delays.

From the view of law enforcement,  everything went smoothly at SJC's little 500.

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